Wanna see me eat a dumpling?

I’m 49 now. It happened on Sunday, and I wish you would have been here to celebrate with me.

But wait. The Internet can make time go all crazypants. (Example: I know a few people on Facebook who recently posted something that Nancy Pelosi said more than 20 years ago, and they acted as if she said it 20 MINUTES ago, and: “KILL THE BEAST!”) So, perhaps you CAN be there to celebrate with me!

Let’s see. On Saturday, we bought a car because it was time to buy a car. We purchased our most recent car nine years ago and we now have three drivers in the house and why do I feel the need to defend our decision to buy a car? Gheez! We bought a damn car! The new car is tentatively named Jameson, and she is orange. Sunset orange.

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Jameson is a fine name for a car, but I’m thinking he looks more like a Clementine.

My birthday dinner? Biscuits and dumplings at Cracker Barrel.

Before:
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During:
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After:
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(I knew Meredith was taking photos. I didn’t know how weird I look when I eat. And the closing of the eyes to celebrate the dumpling? If that isn’t food bliss, well…)

On Sunday morning, I got up and drank coffee out of my big yellow Willie Geist cup. I should have gone to church, but I didn’t go to church because I’ve been weird about church lately. When the girls got up, the four of us went out for coffee and then to an uncomfortable mall where Harper bought a necklace for me and I pretended to smoke.

Smoker

We then went to my parents house to celebrate Mother’s Day with pizza, salads, Family Feud, and strawberry cake.

And that’s what it’s like to be me going from 48 to 49.

On Monday evening a group of us celebrated the 22nd birthday and life of our friend’s son. We laughed, we ate bread pudding, and we talked about Krystofer and how he continues to inspire his friends and family, and it felt like church.

On Tuesday morning I rescued a tortoise who was trying to cross a busy street. As I carried him to a better place (near a tall plant in cool grass) he put his little foot on my arm to feel more stable, and it felt like church. (Coincidentally, the tall plant in cool grass was in the side yard of a Jehovah’s Witness gathering place, which I suppose is ALSO a church, but it’s not my church. So, not church, but church.)

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I was supposed to go to a concert this evening, but I stayed home to punish myself for making one of my kids angry this afternoon. The singer in the band they are watching right now is so good that he makes my stomach hurt, yet here I sit. (I’ve been known to rip out knitting projects to punish myself. I’ve been known to eat until I feel sick to punish myself. I know it’s weird and a little unstable, but I doubt I’m the only one who does it.)

Speaking of knitting projects, right now I’m making one of these, and tomorrow I’m taking Jameson/Clementine for a long drive to visit my sister. Church.

Things That Recently Sparked Some Feelings

Harper turned 14 and Meredith turned 16. Combined, this means I have 30 years of parenting under my belt. (I don’t own a belt.) Harper and Meredith are funny and smart and their hearts are gigantic (figuratively). Humans can be unpredictable. I’m so happy these two are who they are right now. They would rather I not post photos of them, so I WILL post photos of them. However, I will cover them with cats.

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Because I’ve been a little loopy lately, my doctor gave me a dementia test. (I do not have dementia, which I guess means that I failed the dementia test?) She then took away my headache preventative and gave me a different SSRI and that resulted in monster headaches and not-so-poetic ruminations on death. SO, I’m now back to smelling a little demented and I’m just fine with that. (It smells like chamomile oil, and then I layer additional scents by rolling on a combination of orange, black pepper, and ylang ylang!)

Meredith is now a licensed driver. A few nights back she drove Harper to the store to buy Oreos and M&M’s [sic], and they bought those things with their own money. (See Paragraph #1, above.)

I don’t visit my website very often, and a few days back it occurred to me that I’m no longer receiving e-mails when someone leaves a comment. This just means I’ve been EXTRA bad at not responding to comments. (With the help of iThemes, I think we’re all fixed up now!) Anyway, I wanted to give a quick shout out to Stephanie, who commented a few days ago. Thank you so much for stopping by! You are not the least bit creepy! You are the anti-creepy! I love that people still visit me here. Thank you to everyone.

Because of the amount of time spent with marching band parents, I’ve managed to become friends with a good number of them. Last night, while drinking a raspberry seltzer in a gazebo with four other band parents, I heard not one, but TWO “this is how I disposed of the body” stories. How in the world have I come to deserve this wonderful life?!

Going All Aggro at the DQ (or, This is Why I Can’t Be Around People)

This evening I attended the wind ensemble concert at the high school auditorium, and the music was lovely in the lovely parts and exhilarating in the exhilarating parts, and all (but one) of the kids seem to be good citizens who support each other in healthy ways. (I know that sounds like a mom thing to say. Shut up.) ((Also, don’t get me started on the “but one” parenthetical aside up there, because things could get ugly.))

Speaking of things getting ugly, after the concert I drove in the rain to Dairy Queen because I tend to celebrate every single occasion with food. There really wasn’t anything to celebrate tonight other than the fact that I didn’t lose my shit with that one parenthetical kid. It doesn’t matter. Food. Always food.

Anyway, the Dairy Queen parking lot is a weirdo. When you pull in, you can go the wrong way to the drive-thru, or you can go the correct way. (It’s definitely easier to go the wrong way.) Tonight, I pulled into the parking lot right behind a white van. White van went the wrong way. I went the right way. We reached the drive-thru lane at the same exact time. (This is a great story, isn’t it? Doesn’t it make you want to hang out with me?! No?!)

As soon as I inched forward, the driver of the white van JUMPED OUT OF HIS VAN because we live in St. Charles, where most of the population is itching to fight. Picture this: Tall old bald guy with a tiny gray ponytail yelling something at me about how he was FIRST! and something about “YOU DON’T THINK YOU’RE GOING IN FRONT OF ME, DO YOU?!” I (fairly) calmly told him that I WAS going to let him go first (and I was!) and then (because sometimes I’m a little petty) I gently pointed out that he was in the wrong lane. He threw his enormous orangutan-esque arms into the air and spouted out, “THINGS HAPPEN!”

Watch out. I’m about to say the F word.

When Planet of the Apes stopped beating on his big dumb (probably prison tattooed with more than one misspelled word) chest and knuckle-crawled back into his van, I rolled my window up, turned to Jeff and said, “I fucking hate this fucking town.”

I don’t hate this town. I don’t. But I do hate misguided entitlement and tough-mindedness and authoritarian aggression and big hostile dumb white guys with tiny ponytails (is it considered a pigtail if it’s wee and growing out of the back of a Neanderthal skull?) who will do whatever it takes to be the first in line for a Dilly Bar.

Confession: After the guy yelled at me, I was shaken up just enough to turn the car around and go home. No Blizzard for me because mean people ruin everything.

(I have a lot in common with these nacho chips.)

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July, and you’re phone king.

A few weeks ago, I took Meredith and a couple of her friends to the Kero Kero Bonito show. I’ll wait right here while you familiarize.

As you can probably guess, the show was adorable and high on energy (with the essence of marijuana) and I spent most of my time leaning against the parent wall thinking about how my arches hurt from standing so long. (MY ARCHES.)

Before KKB came on (let’s move backwards, shall we?) their opening band challenged my sense of hearing.

Review of Senses
Sight: Lots of club kids getting excited about Kero Kero Bonito.

Smell: Pez and Pot.

Touch: Being bumped into from people into which were bumping from other people bumping. Each other. (Just let me have that one.) Also, Arches.

Taste: Secondhand pot.

Hearing: Opening band. No idea what they’re saying. Could be a man and his wife. Maybe from Europe? None of these songs are making sense to painful-arched me. I’ll eat magpie?

To pass the time, I took out my little notebook and transcribed the lyrics I thought I heard.

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I doubt my lyrics are better than theirs, but I think my lyrics are better than theirs.

Good Friday. I just ate a waffle that acted as a vehicle for strawberries and blueberries. Let the day begin.

Harangue should rhyme with Merengue, but it doesn’t. It rhymes with Meringue.

I went to Dayton for the WGI Percussion World Championships and I returned from Dayton with a kid who now has pneumonia.

Harangue: If your kid is super sick, you shouldn’t let them share a six hour bus ride with a bunch of healthy kids. Those healthy kids? They will slowly drop like sleep-deprived drummers who have been exposed to a highly-contagious virus. Because that’s what they are. A drumline trip isn’t the same thing as an anti-vax chickenpox party. Similarly, please don’t use the Notre Dame fire to promote your passions. “If only people would cry for the unborn babies as much as they cry for the burning of Notre Dame.” “Notre Dame was 759 years old. If we don’t start taking care of the Earth, it won’t be around for 759 more years.” Listen. I get it. We all feel very strongly about the things we feel very strongly about. Surprisingly enough, I’m able to feel sad about the Notre Dame fire AND pissed about injustice AND concerned about political corruption AND distressed about the homeless population AND I like to think most of us are capable of multitrack mindedness. We are amazingly complex and beautiful humans, because I always try to finish harsh statements with pleasant ones.

Meanwhile, in Indiana:
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Me: I’ve got your eyeballs in my left hand, Ronald McDonald.

Ronald McDonald: (perturbed silence)

Me: Oh, Ronald McDonald! You never had real eyeballs. Someone painted eyeballs onto your face and then someone else scratched them out and you can’t see that you’re contributing to the health crisis in the United States, can you?! (Your fries are delicious, because I always try to finish harsh statements with pleasant ones.)

Just give me a day or two to cheer up. It will happen. Perhaps on Thursday.

Rick Astley is not a good role model.

I am an organ donor. Hell, I’ll give you an organ right now if you need it. I read up on living donations over the weekend, so I’m ready to toss a kidney at you. A lung. One of my two liver lobes. Part of my pancreas. A few feet of intestine. Blood. Bone marrow. Skin. If it can save someone, I’ll give it up.

Warning: My transverse and descending colon are no good. You wouldn’t want those guys. Similarly, my uterus flaked a few years back so I had to kick it out.

Crazy Uterus

When I’m no longer living, I want to be stripped for parts. I won’t need to pack anything for my trip, and I would hate to think that I’m holding on to something that might make a huge difference for someone else.

A friend of mine lost her husband last week. He was waiting for a liver. He had been waiting a long time for a liver.

The back of my license has been signed and I’ve told everyone who might have to make a tricky decision someday that my organs are up for grabs. My whole body. Whatever.

My promise: I’ll try to stay healthy from now until Go Time. To do that, I’ll be dropping a few lazy habits and picking up a few hearty ones.

The photo below shows my proudest moment from 2016 and it’s bullshit that I can no longer do it. Had I kept practicing, I would probably be able to balance (and maybe spin!) on one finger by now.

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Damnit, let’s all take care of ourselves. Let’s all take care of each other.

Let it fly in the breeze and get caught in the trees!

Let’s see. I’ve been drinking grey lattes: Oat milk, honey, and activated charcoal. (The charcoal has no taste (neither does Cameron Diaz. HA HA HA HA!!!), but it definitely has a job (unlike Cameron Diaz. HA HA HA HA!!!). It traps your toxins like a toxin trapper and suddenly you are much less polluted and much more polished. I might be talking about your colon.) Magic absolutely exists.

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I finished reading How to Change Your Mind, and suddenly the idea of a controlled psychedelic reset really appeals to me. To be kept safe while jumpstarting creativity and emotions and LIFE sounds so refreshing. (Admittedly, I’m in a bit of a rut right now and the typical “buy a new notebook and re-ink a pen!” scheme hasn’t kicked me into gear. I need something that isn’t some thing.)

Also, I occasionally need Delhi’s Chaat, which is the technical term for Indian Nachos: Wheat tortilla shells topped with boiled potatoes, chickpeas (regular and black), onion, tamarind sauce, mint chutney, yogurt, sev, and chaat masala. Dear Lord. Today I needed Delhi’s Chaat.

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That photo was taken less than six hours ago. It is a photo of my lunch. (I do what I can to make you (and me) happy.) Tempe and I skipped out for nachos and then dipped into St. Louis Art Supply to check out their pens and inks. (Go there. It’s such a happy place.)

I saw a commercial last night that showed a woman shaving her arms. Meredith assures me that women now shave their arms and that the commercial was NOT a joke. Great. I’ve just been walking around like a damn gorilla for the past 49 years.

By the way, I started growing out my head hair at approximately 11:07am on March 5th because I really liked when this was going on back in 2016.

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Get your mind off of the Mueller Report and onto my hair. (Disclosure: I do have the right to assert privilege over certain parts of my hair.)

Lose It! just might have a crush on Goodreads.

Several months ago
My doctor: You should drop some weight. The Lose It! app can give you insight into your habits.

Me: I love Lose It! I lost 20 pounds with Lose It! a few years back.

Several months later, but more specifically, this morning
Lose It!: Tink, tink, tink! Hey! I’ve been thinking about you and all of the foods you love, so look what I made for you!

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Me: Wait. That can’t be right.

Lose It!: Mokokoma Mokhonoana once said, “While facts do kill ignorance, ignoring facts does not kill them.”

Me: Okay.

Lose It!: Edith Wharton once said, “Genius is of small use to a woman who does not know how to do her hair!”

Me: What?

Lose It!: Heather O’Neill once said that you are often only an ethical question away from being a prostitute. She also said that if we all knew that we were all perverts, we might all be a lot happier.

Lose It!: Madame Bovary wanted to die, but she also wanted to live in Paris.

Lose It: You loved it when the guy in the Family Fang said, “Right now, right this very minute, I’m sitting on my childhood bed, drinking Percocet-laced orange soda out of a straw that I’m holding in the gap where my tooth used to be, before it got shattered by a potato.”

Lithium can treat major depressive disorder.

I went to one of those UPS grocery store mailing spots a few days back, and although working at a UPS grocery store mailing spot *might* really suck, I think the business hours plus the proximity to corn bread could potentially turn that suck into dreamy.

Two people were in line ahead of me, and both of them (not surprisingly) were mailing packages.

UPS Guy: Can you give me a brief description of what’s in the box?
Guy in a Misfits shirt: A present.
UPS Guy: Okay, can you be more specific?
Guy in a Misfits shirt: It’s a gift I’m sending to my friend.

Me (to myself): This is fantastic.

When Misfits Guy was squared away, it was Orange Shirt Grandma’s turn.

UPS Guy: Can you give me a brief description of what’s in the box?
The OSG: Just junk.
Me (to myself): YES!
UPS Guy: Okay, can you be more specific?
The OSG: It’s just a box of funny stuff to make her laugh.

It’s just a box of funny stuff to make her laugh. And the UPS guy let it pass without knowing if “she” thinks fragile, liquid, perishable, or potentially hazardous things, including lithium batteries and perfume are hilarious!

And then it was my turn.

UPS Guy: Can you give me a brief description of what’s in the box?
Me: Shoes.

Clearly, I have some work to do.

Unintentional F Words and Cookies

Our winter drumline competed in Indianapolis over the weekend and Jeff and I couldn’t make it, so we grabbed a quick subscription to FloMarching to watch the competition live.

Watching the competition from the couch didn’t even come close to seeing it from Franklin Central High School, but if I HAD gone to Indianapolis, I wouldn’t have seen this.

This is Matrix Open from Ohio. They were very good. (Most of the groups we saw were very good. Go get yourself to an indoor percussion competition.) Anyway, do you see those U mirror props? I was so jazzed at the thought of those mirrors being rolled and centered between the F and the C at Franklin Central. Alas. They did not move. UNTIL THEY DID.

It was brief, but it was SO thrilling. For me. Only for me. I squealed and jumped up from the couch because I’m ridiculous, and it made up for not being there by about 23%.

Have you guys been following the news about the rich folks who are paying people to take the ACT and SAT for their kids to get them into pricey colleges? I lived through that game 30 years ago when a mom strong-armed me into taking the ACT for her kid so she could get into the College of Education at our university. In other words, what I’m living right now may be predicting the superstar games of 2050.

In the year 2050, Felicity Huffman will be reading a book about psychedelic drugs and saving a neighbor’s dog, for which she will be paid in Girl Scout Cookies.

(I helped my down-the-street neighbor’s muddy limpy dog get back home on Sunday morning. The fence had blown down and Snoopy had escaped. Two hours later? That neighbor showed up with two boxes of Girl Scout Cookies and I think to myself What A Wonderful World.)